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You are interviewed by Southern Cross University for a position of cyber security consultant to work in a university's cyber security program. As part of the interview, you are required to complete the following tasks:

  • Task 1: discuss why risk assessment is the most critical step in developing and managing cyber security in the university and identify the limitations of the current risk assessment methods.

  • Task 2: develop five questions that allow you to identify the most critical information assets of the university. Create a WFA template to rank the assets.

  • Task 3: identify the top five threats to the university information assets. Support you finding by quoting reputable sources of information.

  • Task 4: let's assume that the university website is one of the most critical information asset of the university. Discuss how the top five threats could/could not impact the asset.Rank the threats based on their levels of impact on the asset. Support your discussion by quoting reputable sources of information.

The Importance of Risk Assessment for Cybersecurity

In this report the main task is risk assessment with the context of cyber security. The organization that is selected for the risk assessment is Southern Cross University. The university is a public university situated in various part of Australia. The university stores a huge amount of data. Hence the data security is needed for the university as it possesses lots of security issues. In the further report the risk associates with the cyber security of university will be identified. It is necessary to assess the risk that are associated with the organization and to mitigate it by taking proper measures. In the report the threats and their impact will be discussed and their rank will be done as per the impact. 

Risk Assesment      

The NIST says that the main objective of a risk assessment is for the organization or the company to understand the risks associated with the organizations cyber security. For any risk assessment it is required to make a proper preparation. The preparation includes various type of ground rules, clear understanding of scope and purpose, constraints and assumptions (Cherdantseva et al., 2016).

After performing the risk assessment on the university it will be able to identify the vulnerabilities. The university management will also able to identify the internal and external threats that are associated with network of the university. Information of the vulnerabilities and the threats can be acquired from the external sources (Ward, Ibarra and Ruddle,  2013). The risk assessment also helps the university to identify the impact of the threats in the business perspective. The threats are reviewed and the information is documented.

From the risk assessment the university will be able to learn about the risk and the threats associated with the university’s cyber security. As the risk are identified, so it will be easy to mitigate the risks. Risk mitigation technique can be taken on the basis of the information and the related observation. By the help of risk assessment in the cybersecurity the university will be able to remove the threats and university assets will be safe (Hartmann and Steup, 2013).

The main limitations with the risk assessment approach is that, it will never give the proper answer on the risks. It is nearly impossible to determine the actual threat and the vulnerabilities in the system. The risk assessment answers are not same each of the time. The risk assessment answers are inconsistent which a limitation of the risk assessment in cybersecurity.

Identifying Vulnerabilities in Southern Cross University's Cybersecurity

Information asset is mainly refers to the information those carries the organizations financial value. Information asset is mainly used to reduce the cost of future and improve the rate of revenue generation. For this university the crucial information assets are strategy, education service, intellectual property, secrets of trade, university projects, content to train students, media of marketing, data about the staff and students, operations like documentation, decision support, finance, culture of the organization, legal & compliance, and the university development (Wang and Lu, 2013).

The information asset goes critical due to lack of importance and security. As the information assets are the main part which carries the financial value of the organization. Mainly the information asset converts into the critical assets by the internal people that are associated with the organization. It is needed to take some serious mitigation techniques for the information assets so that the information assets will not turn into critical assets .

1.What kind of strategy will be used for working the assets of the organization?

2.What are the intellectual properties that are working with the organizations asset?

3.Is there any kind of legal procedure that will affect the deal with the critical data?

 4.Identify the operations that are included in the critical data sector of the university?

5.Identify the material that are used to secure the organizations critical data?

Assets of Information

Criteria 1

(Impact on the internal work)

Criteria 2

(Data Security Impact)

Criteria 3

(Social factor impact)


Criteria weightage




Total weightage is 100
















Decision support





There are many threats that are associates with the cyber security of the Southern Cross University. As the university adapted the information system in the whole system so the main threats are also associated with the information system and cyber security. It is necessary for the university to identify the possible threats that are possessed with the cybersecurity. As the data are stored on the information system of the university so there is a chance that the data might get breached (Ionita and Patriciu, 2014).

The first threat is with the university strategy, if the strategy get leaked then the university might face a huge loss as others will take the same strategy and there will be no uniqueness of the university strategy.

The next threat is associated with the data of the university. The rate of cybercrime is getting higher in the recent time so the university data has the potential threat that a data beach might happen.            

There are risk with the material too which is used to train the students. As the university use their own material for training purpose of the students so it is necessary for the university to keep the material confidential as it can be hacked by the hackers to affect the university.

Threats to Southern Cross University's Cybersecurity

The university must handle their intellectual property properly in order to gain success in long term. The intellectual property are subject to copyright, there are many threats that the intellectual property holds like copying the idea of the university by other competitive universities.

One of the main information asset is the financial asset and it has its own threats. As the transaction is made through online s there is a chance of vulnerability and the money can be hacked by the hackers.

Potential Threats

 Asset vulnerability is mainly the weaknesses that the assets are having in them. Each asset has their own weaknesses. The education strategy has a weakness that this strategy if leaked then it will lost its value. Same goes for the data of the university which is a main asset for the university. The data need to be stored properly with measured security, as the data contains all details of university staffs and the students. It is the duty of the university to secure their data so any kind of data breach do not happen (Amin et al., 2013). These are the main reason why the risk assessment is done in the cybersecurity.

These threats can affect the university hugely as it consists all the information, data, strategy, media, and the legal compliance of the system. So if any kind of vulnerability happens then it can be very harmful for the university (Shin, Son and Heo, 2015). So it necessary to conduct a risk assessment on the cybersecurity to identify the risks and the threats that are associated with the cybersecurity of the university. The vulnerabilities are ranks high among the all aspect because it the main area of concern for the university which needed to be taken care of. If the correct measurement is taken then the university system will be more secure and the threats will be less in the university (Linkov et al., 2013). To avoid any kind of data breach or any kind of cyber-attack in the system the university will have to be secure their network and the database where they stored the data about the university.


From the organization overhead report it can be concluded that it is necessary for each and every organization to do the risk assessment in the context of the cybersecurity. By the risk assessment the university will be aware of the threats and the risks that can harm the whole infrastructure of the university. The first method is to identify the risks associated with the university. After the risk identification the university will be able to take required measurement for the cyber security. In the above report all the information asset is identified for the university and threats associated with the information asset are also is identified. The report also identified that how the information asset converted into critical asset. The impact of the threats are also discussed in the above report. Risk assessment is basically done to identify the vulnerabilities in the network.


Amin, S., Litrico, X., Sastry, S. and Bayen, A.M., 2013. Cyber security of water SCADA systems—Part I: Analysis and experimentation of stealthy deception attacks. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 21(5), pp.1963-1970.

Cherdantseva, Y., Burnap, P., Blyth, A., Eden, P., Jones, K., Soulsby, H. and Stoddart, K., 2016. A review of cyber security risk assessment methods for SCADA systems. Computers & security, 56, pp.1-27.

Hartmann, K. and Steup, C., 2013, June. The vulnerability of UAVs to cyber attacks-An approach to the risk assessment. In Cyber Conflict (CyCon), 2013 5th International Conference on (pp. 1-23). IEEE.

Ionita, M.G. and Patriciu, V.V., 2014, May. Biologically inspired risk assessment in cyber security using neural networks. In Communications (COMM), 2014 10th International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.

Linkov, I., Eisenberg, D.A., Plourde, K., Seager, T.P., Allen, J. and Kott, A., 2013. Resilience metrics for cyber systems. Environment Systems and Decisions, 33(4), pp.471-476.

Shin, J., Son, H. and Heo, G., 2015. Development of a cyber security risk model using Bayesian networks. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 134, pp.208-217.

Sommestad, T., Ekstedt, M. and Holm, H., 2013. The cyber security modeling language: A tool for assessing the vulnerability of enterprise system architectures. IEEE Systems Journal, 7(3), pp.363-373.

Wang, W. and Lu, Z., 2013. Cyber security in the smart grid: Survey and challenges. Computer Networks, 57(5), pp.1344-1371.

Ward, D., Ibarra, I. and Ruddle, A., 2013. Threat analysis and risk assessment in automotive cyber security. SAE International Journal of Passenger Cars-Electronic and Electrical Systems, 6(2013-01-1415), pp.507-513.

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